My second book will be published by UWA Publishing in 2020. It’s a memoir, written in fragments. I’m ready now to tell you the title. Darkfall. This is an American word for dusk. I came across it while reading a young adult novel to my daughter. Dusk is one of my favourite times of day (I don’t think I can choose just one as my favourite, but all of my favourite times are when the light is soft or deep and nuanced). Dusk is when I feel most like myself. In a state of changing and shifting. When I can easily hide if I feel that I need to hide. When I can almost convince myself that I can move through the world and not quite be visible to you. When I might reach out and caress you softly and maybe you’ll see me if you’re looking, or else you’ll think it’s your imagination or you’ll be cajoled to wander into a memory or dream.
Darkfall is set in my childhood and adolescence. I had many reasons to hide and disappear then. I lived in country Victoria, mostly in the north-west. Verging on desert. But not quite. It’s set in those places where I lived, but it’s also set inside me, in the imaginative landscape that I created in those times of my life. The entrance to this landscape was a deeply forested gorge that opened up along my sternum.
The image here is a photograph that I took of myself a few years ago, on the pink salt pans of Lake Tyrrell, close to where the events and visions of Darkfall took place. Some say that this salt lake is a remnant of an inland sea.